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Favorite Paris Ice Cream Shops
Where Parisians cool down in the summer
As a public service (and because I love ice cream), once upon a time, I listed several favorite ice cream shops in Paris, which, at the time, were just a handful. But things have changed with many young people opening shops, number of legacy pâtisseries and chocolate shops upping their ice cream game, and ingredients and flavors from other countries and cultures getting some well-deserved time in the spotlight. It’s hard to keep track of what’s new…and delicious, but someone has to do it. Right? So I figured it should be me.😋
A few notes:
-The classic Berthillon remains very popular…and closes for August. But not to worry, other cafés and shops on the Île St.-Louis are authorized to scoop their ice cream.
-Some of the upscale pastry shops, such as Pierre Hermé, Jean Paul Hévin, La Manufacture, À La Mère de Famille, and La Maison du Chocolat, offer ice cream in the summer in many of their shops, but not all. Check their websites to see where they’re serving ice cream.
-Many ice cream shops have several addresses so check their websites for locations, as well as up-to-date information such as closings and flavors on offer. In this list, I’ve linked to their websites, as well as posts on my website, davidlebovitz.com, where I’ve written more about certain shops. I did add addresses where the venues either don’t have websites and/or don’t list their address on their social media pages. Use Google maps, or another mapping app, to find directions as well as the closest métro station.
-If coming during the summer, check websites and Instagram pages for any business listed to find opening hours and closings. Most smaller businesses post hours and updates on their Instagram pages.
Henri Guittet explores the wilder side of ice cream with creative flavors like Caramel Corn-Pepper, Vanilla with hemp (called Smoke on the water), Blackberry-Côte de Rouissillon (red wine from the sun-drenched south of France), and Glace & Confused, a bright mélange of fresh citrus and lemongrass in one refreshing scoop. Skimos, or popsicles (which is shorthand for esquimaux, or “eskimos” in France), change with the seasons and the whims of Henri. (website/davidlebovitz.com)
Une Glace à Paris
A rather elegant shop in the Marais (with another in Montmartre) featuring ice cream by Emmanuel Ryon, the renowned French glacier who has a coveted MOF (the best in France) designation. Flavors like caramel croquant with crunchy bits of caramel, smoked chocolate, and buckwheat-nougat ice cream are featured, as well as elegant ice cream cakes and confections. Note the vibe here is more ‘elegant pastry shop’ than “Let’s get ice cream!” (website)
[The two Fou de Pâtisserie shops (45 rue Montorgueil, 2nd, and 36 rue des Martyrs, 9th), which highlight pastries from various Parisian pastry chefs, offers their ice cream creations as well.]
La Maison du Chocolat
Many upscale chocolate shops in Paris start scooping in the summer, and La Maison du Chocolat, which knows chocolate better than anyone else…has an extra-special collection of chocolate-covered popsicles (sold at these boutiques) created in conjunction with award-winning glacier David Wesmaël. My preference from the summer of 2023 line-up is the Bâtonnet Givré Tout Chocolat, a triple chocolate popsicle made with an extra-dark chocolate center, chopped chocolate chips, toasted almonds, and enrobed in dark chocolate couverture. (website)
Pastry chef Julia Bell turned her talents to ice cream at JJ Hings (5 rue de la Grange aux Belles, 10th). It’s located by the Canal St. Martin, and shares space with the Ten Belles office team—hence the taped-up sign, but perhaps in the future she’ll have a space all to herself—and locals line up for Melon-Pastis and Beer-Picon amer ice pops or Café au lait soft serve. I love the Salted Butter Caramel with bits of chocolate-covered ice cream cones in the mix, which looked so good, the woman behind me asked about it, and she ordered the same thing.
The cones at JJ Hings are handmade with hearty einkorn, believed to be the oldest strain of wheat, which adds 50¢ extra to the price…and is well worth it. On the handwritten menu, you’ll also find floats made with homemade soda, which might be made with rhubarb or elderflower, and Cookies ‘n Cream ice cream sandwiches, although like everything else on the menu, it all changes daily. (Instagram)
[Also near the Canal St. Martin, Plan D vegan sandwich shop serves up delicious soft serve vegan “Snickers” ice cream sundaes with chocolate, caramel, peanuts, and sea salt.]
La Glace Alain Ducasse
It may seem like Alain Ducasse is taking over Paris. In addition to owning quite a few restaurants and bistros, he’s added chocolate shops, coffee shops, and cookie shops to his list. And now there are ice cream shops, too. (For a moment, there were also vegan burgers, which didn’t quite catch on.) The best scoops on offer are the ones made with chocolate from La Manufacture, Ducasse’s bean-to-bar chocolate shop, which includes chocolates from Madagascar and Peru, as well as vanilla ice cream made with three types of vanilla and another churned with house-made chocolate-hazelnut paste. (website)
Plaq and L’Instant Cacao
These two excellent Parisian bean-to-bar chocolate makers unpacked their ice cream machines in the spring to prepare for summer. Plaq offers up chocolate ice cream and a bittersweet chocolate sorbet topped with just-roasted chocolate nibs, as well as an icy-cold granita to sip. (For those missing ice in Paris, get thee to Plaq!) There are also chocolate-dipped ice cream sandwiches for eating on the go.
L’Instant Cacao presents a seasonal range of flavors made with Marc Chinchole’s handcrafted chocolate, sold in containers to go. Flavors change with the seasons, and he pairs white peach with chocolate chips or raspberries and chocolate in his sorbets and makes his single-origin chocolate ice creams with chocolate from Madagascar, Belize, and the Ivory Coast, where Chef Chinchole goes to source his beans. (Plaq/L’Instant Cacao/davidlebovitz.com)
After opening her first gelateria in Paris in 2009, and being overwhelmed by ice cream lovers (then closing for an undisclosed reason), Mary Quarta has found her footing in her quirky shop in the Marais (60, rue du Temple), featuring a changing array of Italian gelati made with organic ingredients.
Her most famous flavor is coffee, which has won a prestigious award—the Cono d’Oro, the “Gold Cone”—in Italy. But don’t hesitate to get a caffè affogato, ice cream doused with warm espresso. The classic ice cream to use is vanilla, but while it may sound odd, Avocado gelato with espresso is a delicious combination (popular in Brazil, Indonesia, and Vietnam), which surprised me when I first tasted it. But it works. (Facebook/davidlebovitz.com)
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Maison Aleph makes ice cream seasonally (i.e., only in the summer), and I wait each year to see how owner/pastry chef Myriam Sabat successfully blends flavors from the Levant using French pastry techniques into ice cream as deftly as she does with her pastries. Ice creams and sorbets change with the season but Fleur de lait (“flower of milk”) is a favorite of mine with crisp tidbits of pistachios, orange flower water and mastic.
The Glace citron (Lemon ice cream) is remarkably refreshing, and tangy, and made with just milk - no cream or eggs - to let the brilliant flavor of the Sicilian lemons used to make it shine through. Other flavors that they rotate through include Iranian Pistachio (which is vegan), Halvah (sesame paste), Vanilla-Saffron, Za’atar-Apricot-Honey, and Strawberry-Orange Flower Water. (website/davidlebovitz.com)
Bachir is a family-run ice cream shop in Lebanon that opened its first shop in Paris in 2017. They feature flavors like Extra-dark Chocolate, Toasted Almond, and Achta, made with clotted cream and orange-flower water. (Which is the star of the show here.) Ice cream at Bachir is made with organic ingredients and thickened with mastic, rather than eggs, which is traditional in the Middle East. Getting your cone rolled in pistachios and topped with whipped cream is a must. (website/davidlebovitz.com)
[Another Lebanese ice cream store with a few shops in Paris is Baltis.]
Folderol has attained a cult following, with folks stopping by from afternoon to evening for scoops of ice cream and sorbets made by pastry chef/owner Jessica Yang. Flavors come and go, depending on what’s in season, and may include Olive Oil, Persimmon and Cream, Sesame Brownie, Fresh Mint Chip, and Apricot-Chaï.
This shop does double duty as a wine bar and has become a hit with the natural wine crowd, so you might have to wade through a few people to get to the ice cream counter at night, although they are one of the few ice cream places in Paris that stays open until 11pm. (website/davidlebovitz.com)
The famed Italian gelateria has three shops in Paris since its debut in 2008 in the St. Germain area. The Crema di Grom features crumbled gluten-free polenta cookies and is what “in the know” Italians order in Italy. (At least according to my Italian friends… and I like it too.) I love the Pistachio, made from vibrant green nuts, and Gianduja, a traditional Italian paste made of roasted hazelnuts and chocolate ground together. In very hot weather, one of their frosty lemon or pink grapefruit granitas will cool you down quickly. Note that Grom is a completely gluten-free ice cream shop. (website/davidlebovitz.com)
Steps from the BHV department store in the Marais, glacier David Wesmaël churns up uncomplicated (yet expertly made) ice creams such as Caramel-Fleur de Sel, Arabica Coffee, Provencal Nougat, and Almond Milk. Sorbets range from “Très” (very) Cocoa to Green Apple. (website)
From the north of Italy, Pozzetto (39 rue de Roi de Sicile, 4th) specializes in flavors of the region using best-quality ingredients. Don’t miss the hazelnut and gianduja; both feature the famed hazelnuts of Piedmont! This place is a local favorite…and with good reason: The gelato is excellent. It’s also open late in the evening since the area attracts a lively bar and café crowd. (Instagram)
Berthillon is known for small scoops, but ones that pack a lot of flavor. My favorite combination is extra-bitter Chocolate sorbet paired with Pear sorbet (their sorbet was the inspiration for my Chocolate sorbet recipe, which is here), but other flavors dazzle, such as Fraises des bois (wild strawberry, when available), Agenaise (prune-Armagnac), Caramel (which I like better than their Salted Butter Caramel), and Cassis sorbet, made with inky, flavor-packed blackcurrants. A French friend told me that two scoops was normal…but getting three scoops was “Très américian.” However, if you think you’re getting funny looks eating a 3-scoop cone from others...my take is that it’s because they’re jealous. (website)
Breaking! I haven’t been able to get to Café Isaka yet, which specializes in Asian flavors, such as Pandan, Ebe, Black Sesame, Kinako (soybean powder), and Matcha—as well as deep-fried in panko ice cream—but I’m anxious to give this newcomer on the Paris ice cream scene a try. I did stop by last Sunday, but they hadn’t opened yet. Will update after my visit… (website)
-La Tropicale: 7 rue de Prague, 12th
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